New York is known as the city that never sleeps, but it’s also a city that never stops (cycling, running, walking, you name it). In fact, it’s the 8th most active city in the United States.
Keeping up their commitment to an active lifestyle, in 2019, New York passed legislation to invest over $1.7 billion to add new cycle lanes and improve road safety for all users. If you’re visiting NYC, it would be a shame to miss out on cycling there - there are over 124 miles of protected bike lanes in the city, giving it the highest number of protected bike lanes in the country.
Here’s where you can ride when you’re in NYC, along with some of our favorite bike shops and bike rental companies. If you’re traveling to New York with your bike, remember - if your bike is insured with Sundays Insurance, it’ll be covered for domestic travel anywhere in the US!
Our Favorite Cycling Routes
What would a visit to New York City be without a ride through Central Park? You can choose between 6.1-mile, 5.2-mile or 1.7-mile routes, and ride some shorter routes by crossing through the park. Watch out for pedestrian walkways though - apart from shared paths at 96th Street and from West 106th to West 108th Street, cyclists aren’t allowed on pedestrian paths.
Hudson River Greenway
Starting in Battery Park City and ending at the George Washington Bridge, the Hudson Park Greenway is over 12 miles of uninterrupted bliss. Enjoy a paved bike path and views of the Hudson River, but be careful when it’s a lovely day out - the path is not only the longest in NYC, but can also be one of the busiest greenways in the country!
Pulaski to Williamsburg Bridge
In 2016, much to the joy of New Yorkers, Pulaski Bridge opened a protected bikeway. Starting at Pulaski Bridge in Long Island City, you’ll cycle 2.5 miles through Greenpoint and Williamsburg with amazing skyline views. If you want to extend your ride, you can take a detour through McCarren Park before riding to Williamsburg Bridge and into the Lower East Side.
Prospect Park Loop
Set in over 585 acres of greenery, the Prospect Park Loop is a 3.35 mile loop that runs along the interior parameters of the park. Enjoy cycling along Brooklyn’s only lake in an idyllic setting where the streets are car-free. If you’re a serious roadie, there are races and events almost every weekend during the spring and summer months, or if you’re a Strava junkie, see if you can beat the record times (6:50 for men, 7:30 for women).
Remember, if you’re a paid Strava subscriber you can enjoy Strava Perks from Sundays Insurance at no additional cost! Simply activate your perks to get cover for device damage, taxi fare, and running race entry fee reimbursement. Click here to activate or find out more.
Need a Bike? Here are Some Bike Shops in NYC
While the global bicycle shortage is still in full swing, there are over 800,000 regular cyclists in New York city - so if you’re looking for a new bicycle, you may have better luck finding your dream bike in stock than someone in a smaller or less bike-friendly city.
Here are some of the most popular bike shops in NYC according to 6sqft.com.
If you’re looking for a new bike and want to get a taste of history with it, you’re in the right place! Bellitte Bicycles opened in 1918, and is the oldest continuously owned bike shop in the entire country, currently run by the third generation of Bellittes. They stock over a hundred bicycles and have a large selection of children's bikes, BMX bikes, fixed gear bikes, and folding bikes.
Toga Bikes first opened their doors in 1967, and for the better part of five decades, they’ve been the largest bike shop in New York. They cater to both recreational and serious cyclists, offering various types of bikes (including ebikes), as well as clothing, components, and repair and servicing.
They’re open from Monday - Friday 11AM - 7PM, Saturday 10AM - 6PM, and Sunday 11AM - 6PM.
Ride Brooklyn sells bikes for both everyday cyclists and adventure-chasers. They also offer bike trade ups, rentals, servicing and repairs, and even have events - like evening maintenance classes.
They’re open Monday - Thursday 11AM - 7PM, Saturday 11AM - 6PM, and Sunday 12PM - 6PM.
Where to Rent a Bike if You’re Just Visiting
If you want to experience NYC by bike but didn’t bring your own, there are hundreds of bike rental companies dotted around the city with most of them conveniently located close to attractions.
Depending on where you’re staying and what you’re doing, here are some of the bike rental companies you can look out for.
Central Park: This is pretty much the easiest place in NYC to rent a bike! New York City Central Park Bicycle Rental offers bicycle rentals along with helmets, baskets, and bike locks (available on request) for anywhere from one hour to one day.
Brooklyn Bridge: Brooklyn Bridge Bike Rent offers rental bicycles for individual use, along with various bike tours. Their offering includes specialty bikes like tandem bikes, ebikes, and road bikes.
Hudson River: Hudson River Bike Rental offers self-guided bicycle rentals where you can cruise through the landmarks in Lower Manhattan. You’ll get a map, helmet, and bike lock as part of your rental.
Harlem: New York City Harlem Bike Rental offers flexible start times and rental durations (up to 24 hours) to suit your needs and budget. You can choose between Cannondale bikes with options including the comfort style, tandem, hybrid, kids’ bikes, trailers, and baby seats.